1813 Lieutenant William Burrows / USS Enterprise vs. HMS Boxer Naval Medal. War of 1812. By Moritz Furst. Julian NA-7. Silvered Bronze. Struck from an earlier die state from the Rare Original Dies. About Uncirculated.65 mm. Julian NA-7. This historic Naval medal was struck in Bronze at the United States Mint at Philadelphia, then subsequently Silvered. The Naval battle scene on the reverse shows the American frigate USS Enterprise against the British warship Boxer, in their famous War of 1812 engagement. The fierce naval battle raged between the U.S.S. Enterprise and H.M.S. Boxer during the War of 1812 is the subject of the reverse. Although Enterprise triumphed, her commanding officer Burrows died in the engagement (as did Captain Samuel Blyth of H.M.S. Boxer).
These original dies were engraved by Moritz Furst, and can be identified by a light crack through CLARAM on the obverse and by a slight crack at the rim above the M of CLARAM. This example was struck from a much earlier die state than the one plated in Julian and extremely rare as such. No major marks or rims nicks, with smooth surfaces and nice detail, having one diagonal tone band across the central reverse, yet the surfaces remain pleasingly reflective.
Very rare, as we’ve handled only one other example of this medal and that was a more modern Restrike made around 1900. An exciting opportunity for collectors of historic U.S. Mint Naval Medals.
Lieutenant William Ward Burrows II (October 6 1785 - September 5 1813) was an officer in the United States Navy during the First Barbary War and the War of 1812. His father, William Ward Burrows I, was the Second Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Burrows was born in Philadelphia, and appointed a Midshipman in 1799. He distinguished himself at Tripoli onboard Constitution. Lieutenant Burrows died while in command of the brig USS Enterprise as a result of wounds received during the engagement with the British brig HMS Boxer. He was buried at Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine, next to the slain commander of Boxer, Samuel Blyth. His tablet notes that it was "erected by a passing stranger." For Burrows' actions, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Three Ships in the United States Navy have been named “USS Burrows” in tribute and honor for him.